relationship formation

Reward/need satisfaction and Matching hypothesis

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  • Created by: suki
  • Created on: 12-05-13 21:04

outline of Reward/Need Satisfaction

  • From the behavioural approach, Byrne and Clore emphasised the importance of rewards and satisfaction that are received from relationships. With a lack of these, there is no formation of a relationship.
  • According to operant conditioning, relationships are based on being positively and negatively reinforced.Positive reinforcements include companionship, intimacy and sexual relationships and negative reinforcements include not wanting to feel alone.
  • From classical conditioning,  relationships are formed when a neutralstimulus is paired with a stimulus that produces a response and in time, the neutral stimulus also produces a response.
  • For example, situations that make us feel happy act as the unconditional stimulus, therefore we associate people we meet during these situations with feelings of happiness, which is how relationships are formed.
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Reward/Need Satisfaction research evidence

  • Aron et al. 2005 used MRI scans on 17 individuals and found that when shown a picture of their love, individuals' dopamine rich areas were activated . This shows that we form relationships with those who provide us with rewards.
    • + empirical, falsifiable evidence. supported by biological evidence
    • - sample of 17 is not generalisable
  • Veitch and Griffitt conducted an experiment to investigate the role of association on the formation  of relationships. They found that participants from the good news condition reported more feelings of attraction.
    • -used self report methods, carries demand characteristics
    • -cannot control all confounding/extraneous variables.
    • + controlled experiment, replicable.
    • + implications may include dating events, eg. speed dating, to set a happy mood for daters
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evaluation of reward need satisfaction

  • general evaluation
    • + provides an alternative to attractiveness
    • - Hays found that we are more concerned with with equity than we are with rewards and needs.
    • -rewards may not be as important for formation of intimate relationships that develop over periods of time.Aron et al found little evidence for the dependance on rewards in both falling and forming relationships.
    • - RNS is challenged by cyber and long distance relationship whereby there is not intimacy, companionship or sexual relationships.
  • IDA's
    • -culturally biased, ethnocentric and ignores relatioships in collectivist cultures where the rewards are to the families rather than the two people in relatioships (Lott )
    • -reductionist, reduces relationship formation to nothing more than stimulus and response
  • implications
    • in real life, the explanations can be used in couples counselling to understand why the relationship might be failing.
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Matching Hypothesis essay point one

A01- Based on the idea that individuals seek to form relationships with the best possible partner they can attract and that wont reject them. Consequently, couple who form relationships have similar levels of physical attractiveness. A socially desirable person expects a partner who is more socially desirable, taht way, they have a happy relationship.

SE A02- in support, Walster used students who were asked to complete a questionnaire to find a match for them. they were however matched randomly. Results support the fact that physical attractiveness effect is greater than any matching effect, as they found that pps reacted more positively to  physically attractive dates, regardless of their own level of attractiveness.

Imp- in real life, these results can be used in speed dating whereby dates have to rte the partner they liked most therefore subsequent dates can be arranged. it can also be used on dating networks where partners can be matched depending on their level of attractiveness

M-Eval- The use of students in this study makes it nearly impossible to generalise to other people because with uni students, their paths may have passed with their potential partners at leats once before.the use of questionnaires also carries demand characteristics.

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Matching hypothesis essay point two

the halo effect

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